The BC government says workers who earn an alternate minimum wage — including liquor servers and piece-rate farm workers — will soon see a pay raise.
Labour Minister Harry Bains says liquor servers, resident caretakers and live-in camp leaders will see wage increases, as of this June 1st, while farm workers paid by piece rate will see a hike, as of Jan. 1, 2019.
Bains says based on recommendations from the Fair Wages Commission, the government will be eliminating the liquor server wage by 2021.
“No one working for minimum wage, full-time, year-round should be living in poverty,” says Bains. “Workers deserve a minimum level of protection so that, regardless of a person’s job description, they don’t earn a wage that is distinctly less than the general minimum wage.”
Pictured: Harry Bains, BC Labour Minister
Agriculture Minister Lana Popham said government is extending the transition period for changes to farm worker piece rates to January 2019, from June 2018, in order to better balance the needs of workers and the agriculture industry.
“This is a critical industry for B.C. and we want to make sure any changes made help give it the strong, sustainable future it deserves,” says Popham. “We believe everyone who contributes to this industry should have their say as we move toward making wages fair and life more affordable for farm workers.”
Wages for the five worker groups currently subject to alternate minimum wage rates will change as follows:
Liquor servers – incremental increases on June 1 each year, beginning June 2018, until the general minimum wage is reached, of at least $15.20 per hour, in 2021.
Piece-rate farm workers – 11.5% increase to all piece rates on Jan. 1, 2019, with further study to take place.
Resident caretakers – 11.5% increase June 2018, followed by increases of 9.5%, 5.4% and 4.1% in 2019, 2020 and 2021, respectively (wages vary depending on building size).
Live-in camp leaders – same per cent increases as resident caretakers, until they reach $121.65/per day, in 2021.
Live-in home-support workers – abolishment of the alternate minimum wage for this group, as it covers very few or no workers. The general minimum wage will apply to any workers remaining in this category.